A mouse or two in the yard isn't usually a cause for concern unless you begin to notice them with increasing frequency. Unfortunately, problems in the landscape can lead to mice moving into your home. After all, your home provides a safe place out of the elements and the yard can provide plenty of food sources.
Foundation Debris Piles
Some yard debris is normal. Fallen leaf piles in fall, stacks of firewood for winter, or that sort of thing. It's the location and content of the debris that matters. No debris piles should be placed near your foundation, including firewood, raked-up leaves, or brush. Even items like newspapers and cardboard boxes should be kept well away. Mice are drawn to these areas for nesting, and then it's just a short journey to make their way into your home through an open door or foundation crack.
Heavy mulch and plants growing too close to your home's foundation can also act in much the same manner as debris piles. Keep plants trimmed and mulch pulled back from the house to solve the problem.
Food and Seed Spills
Garbage can be a major mouse attractant. Ideally, garbage cans should not be kept near the home. If they must be, opt for well-sealed cans with no holes near the bottom where a mouse could gain access. The cans should be kept clean and food spills in and around the cans need to be cleaned up immediately.
The same is true of other food sources, such as birdseed and pet foods. If you feed a pet outdoors, bring in the food dish before mealtimes and clean up any spills. Ideally, place food dishes well away from your home. Bird feeders should not be hung so close to the home that spilled seed tempts mice toward the protection offered inside your home.
Garden produce can attract mice. Generally, they will stay near the garden during the growing season, thus posing no risk of entry into your home. Issues come in fall as the bounty in the garden declines and mice begin looking for a warmer place to nest. At this point, clean up any remaining fruit and vegetable fall to encourage the mice to go elsewhere.
It's also important to manage garden adjacent areas, like compost piles and sheds. Compost piles need turned and tended regularly so they don't attract pests. Seeds and plant materials in sheds must be stored in mouse-proof containers.
Contact a mice control service near you if you find any evidence of mice in your home or yard.